When Angela Her heard about Fresno EOC Free Medi-Cal Dental Youth Services her family didn’t have a dental care provider and she wasn’t sure how her family would qualify for services. Now Her’s son is learning the importance of dental hygiene while making regular visits to the dentist.
“My son brushes his teeth and we floss together,” said Her. “My son let’s me brush the back teeth for him. I tell him I have to help because the sugar bug is back there and I have to reach.”
As a partner in the Dental Transformation Initiative led by Fresno County Department of Public Health, Health and Dental Services ensures children and youth 0-20, who qualify for Medi-Cal, receive high quality care, education and dental services.
“Medical professionals don’t always want clients who have Medi-Cal because those families are more likely to miss appointments due to transportation and other barriers but with this program we try to eliminate the difficulties families face when going to the dentist,” said Josephine Arguelles, Dental Project Coordinator.
Staff help families find a dental provider who accepts Medi-Cal and are willing to take new patients. Once families have regular dental appointments, staff frequently remind families of their appointments and continue to discuss the importance of oral hygiene specifically with children.
For Her’s family, Free Medi-Cal Dental Youth Services came at the right time. Considering one side of the family has a history of cavities and dental issues she was eager to find dental services for her son.
“I know early education is key. I wanted to get him to see a dentist, but I didn’t know where to go or who would be good, until this program came along and helped me get dental services at no-cost,” said Her.
As of 2020, Fresno EOC Free Medi-Cal Dental Youth Services has served over 11,000 children and over 7,000 families in Fresno County. Staff are qualified to offer support in Spanish, Hmong, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalong and American Sign Language.
Families can contact Outreach Health Educators Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm at (559) 457-7800 to answer any questions regarding the program, the services we offer and to schedule an appointment with a local dental provider.